Benefits of Using Flex Drops: Fixed Versus Variable Costs

Hyatt Seattle equipped with Victaulic VicFlex flex drop

Benefits of Using Flex Drops: Fixed Versus Variable Costs

Posted on March 31, 2020

Driven by feedback from contractors on the front lines, the fire protection industry has responded to challenges in both installing hard pipe and ensuring effectiveness for the life of the system. In this series, we will investigate three main benefits of flex drops and how they solve challenges presented with hard pipe installations. In our final installment of the series, we are delving into the concept of fixed versus variable installation costs, and how to reduce total installed cost when it matters most.

Challenges of Hard Pipe:  Unknown Obstructions

With at least 7 joints necessary per arm over and many job sites requiring several hundred or thousands of heads, you quickly realize that this is the extremely time-consuming area for an installer amounting to days or weeks in the construction schedule.

During the bidding and quoting process, material and labor estimates are predicted based upon several factors including structure size and assumptions of design. However, when challenges arise on the job site, these costs can rise exponentially and unexpectedly. For example, arm overs are typically constructed in uniformity with one another. However, once installers are on the jobsite, they often run into obstructions that were not originally accounted for and must adapt original system designs and handle new measurements in the field. Fitters are expected to rework a plan in real-time to accommodate these obstacles with custom arm overs to navigate around other trades or systems, thus adding to increased cost in terms of hours per head as well as the materials necessary to remedy the situation.

These unexpected expenses are the main contributor to a variable installation cost, a common phenomenon that occurs in construction when “stuff happens!” Because of obstacles and situations that occur on-site, installation quotes for fire protection sprinkler systems cannot be given with utmost certainty.

The Benefits of Flex Drops: Fixed Installation Cost

Flex drops are the ideal solution to combat cost insecurity from the start, with more accurate initial quotes that get it right the first time. With a flexible system, fitters only need to focus on point A and point B. Installation is completed by simply attaching the drop to the branch line and to the ceiling plane. This streamlined technique produces 71% in time savings, and it’s the perfect solution for on-site obstacles. For example, when working around a different system the fitter can simply bend the flex drop in a way that accommodates the obstacle instead of remeasuring and refabricating a replacement arm over. Thanks to the innovative technology behind flex drops, what was once a variable installation cost can now be quoted as a fixed price early in the process.

Discover More Benefits of Flex Drops

How else can flex drops improve performance on the job site?


Interested in learning more? Click here for a deep dive into Victaulic’s flex drop system solutions and to discover how everyone wins with flexible technology.

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